DALLAS — American Airlines (AA), a frontrunner in high-speed inflight connectivity among domestic airlines, is set to enhance its in-flight Wi-Fi access on regional jets.
Expanding its partnership with satellite service provider Intelsat, the carrier will install high-speed Wi-Fi capabilities on approximately 500 dual-class regional aircraft starting next year. The airline says that the rollout is expected to finish within two years. AA currently offers high-speed Wi-Fi on over 900 mainline aircraft.
High-speed Wi-Fi Capability
For this, the airline seeks to leverage Intelsat’s Electronically Steered Array (ESA) antennae. The ESA technology operates on both geostationary and low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites, providing low-latency, high-speed internet connections to customers. AA believes the new technology will allow its regional aircraft to match the fast Wi-Fi speed currently available on the mainline aircraft.
Earlier this year, AA became the first carrier to offer high-speed Wi-Fi capabilities on 100% of its mainline fleet. Additionally, in the coming years, the airline is set to expand its fleet, and all the new aircraft are expected to be delivered with Wi-Fi capabilities. Furthermore, this initiative closely mirrors Delta Air Lines’ (DL) strategy of implementing streaming services for its regional fleet.
In November 2023, the airline teamed up with Hughes Network Systems to provide a streaming-capable Wi-Fi service on its fleet of regional aircraft, which includes Boeing 717s, Emraaer E170/175s, and Bombardier CRJ-700/900s.
Passengers can expect the upgraded Wi-Fi to be available on these aircraft starting in mid-2024.
Featured image: N133HQ Republic Airways (American Eagle) Embraer ERJ-175LR KBOS/BOS. Photo: Marty Basaria/Airways